My main career goal has been to contribute to the golf teaching industry in some way and add something unique that helps a lot of golfers improve their games. I also wanted to create something that gives golf coaches more tools to be able to help players improve quicker, and maintain that improvement longer.
Two years ago, I wrote The Practice Manual – The Ultimate Guide For Golfers. This was my way of organizing my own thoughts, beliefs and teaching methods into something structured and usable by everyone.
I wrote it with the understanding that it may be something that perhaps just a few dedicated golfers and instructor friends purchased. With that in mind, I didn’t try to appeal to the masses, and wrote about some of the deeper, un-talked about topics in golf improvement.
I didn’t think it would sell, but I was proud of it. In fact, I was originally going to call the book “Periodization Protocols for Elite Level Golfers”, just so it was an immediate turn-off to anyone looking for the quick-fix model swing bullshit that perpetuates.
Before we dive in to The Practice Manual, if you’d like a copy of my Ebook “Golf Hacks”, with lots of tips to quickly improve strike quality, club path, direction, strategy and more, enter your email below.
Contrary to what I thought would happen, the book exploded.
It sold more copies in one month than I thought it would sell in a year. Within 2 months, it surpassed the mental target I had set for lifetime sales. It quickly became a best-seller in the USA, as well as Canada, Germany, France, and my home-country (United Kingdom).
And the reviews were good.
With 148 reviews (currently) in the USA, and 91 reviews on the UK amazon, the book has been “user-approved”
People enjoyed my different take on instruction, and players Worldwide started having great success with it. My inbox became flooded with emails from players who said that chapter X or chapter Y had completely changed their outlook on golf, and was helping them play better than ever.
I sincerely appreciate all of these emails I get, and I make it a goal to reply to all of them personally. It gives me great happiness to hear how the book has helped.
One of my proudest moments was when this happened (see below video).
That’s right – Martin Hall (an instructional hero of mine) featured the book on The Golf Channel with the following quote
It’s a fantastic book. If you are someone who practices, you need to get this book. If you are a golf professional, you need to get this book. If you want to get better, you need to get this book”
This was one of those “heart-in-mouth” moments where you think you are dreaming.
For a brief moment, the book not only hit the #1 spot for golf, but it also cracked the top 100 best-sellers (all categories) and reached number 1 on amazon.com’s “movers and shakers” list.
The book has also been supported by some of the biggest and brightest names in the industry.
The Practice Manual in my opinion is the best golf book ever written. Rather than yet another book dealing with swing technique, it presents the skills that are crucial to becoming successful at golf. Then lays out the steps to creating a practice program that will allow you to excel. (Don Parsons, 88 California Am Champion, 2013/15 Golf Digest Best Teachers in California)
The Practice Manual is a must read for every passionate coach or player. It’s an A to Z for practice containing both drills, together with learning theory and concepts. Every coach or player will find something valuable within the book that assists them improve. Adam is a very talented coach and sure to make an impact in your golf through this book!”
Jonathan Wallett, Tour coach and owner of Elite Coaching Golf Academy
“The Practice Manual is a must read for every golfer that is committed to performance improvement. Adam Young has done the most difficult work for all of us. If long lasting performance improvement is your goal, identify your individual priorities and apply the components specific to your game that Adam has so clearly defined in the Practice Manual.”
Ron Gring – named Golf Magazine’s top 100 instructors 10 years in a row, Golf Digest’s #6 best teacher in State, as well as an instructor to several winning tour players.golf channel,
“A very well thought out, researched and written book. There are already many concepts I am playing around with. This book has become the template for my own game and my teaching. I have moved this direction over the last 5 or so years, but there is so much gold in how this book is put together.”
Grant Waite – PGA tour winner and Champions Tour player with the 3rd best final round in PGA tour history (60)
Brian Jacobs – PGA, Director of Instruction at Brian Jacobs Golf, Golf Channel Academy Lead Instructor-Golf Channel Morning Drive Coach of the Week
I’ve been impressed by the approach Adam has taken. It’s very complete, it’s very thorough, it’s very concise, it’s very holistic, and I am convinced that he’s going to help you find that little something because he comes at golf improvement from a very interesting tangent. (Mark Immelman – On The Mark Podcast)
The Practice Manual is, in my view, the most interesting and valuable golf improvement book written this year – and I will be surprised if it doesn’t become a classic. (Tony Wright, Gameimprovementgolf.com)
I can’t thank you all enough for the support.
How It Can Help You
“That’s all well and good”, I hear you say. “But how does it help ME”?
Teaching golfers day in and day out has taught me one thing – not many of them understand why a ball does what it does.
It has also taught me another thing – once they understand why a ball does what it does, it dramatically speeds up their rate of improvement and long-term retention.
Understanding ball flight laws is key to improving quickly
For this reason, a good part of The Practice Manual delves into understanding the ball flight laws and being able to identify what is happening through specific feedback sources. Through this information, a player stands a much greater chance of rectifying their issues and fixing/improving their ball flight.
More importantly, for average golfers (elites also), the book distils down to the most essential elements of a great golf shot – what MUST happen to create a quality golf shot.
This is often a paradigm shift for most golfers.
Skill and Technique
The book also discusses the differences between skill and technique.
Every book or video written about golf (that I know of) looks solely at technique – the movement pattern a player is using. Just pick up any magazine article, or listen to the commentators voice-over a slow-motion swing of an elite player, and you will hear them discuss how the player does X/Y/Z in their swing.
There are hundreds of swing models – but what unites the different methods?
While a great movement pattern is vital to elite-level golf, it is only a piece of the whole puzzle. What is often not discussed is the unseen element of skill.
The practice manual discusses BOTH.
The book discusses some of the factors that are vital to understand in order to change your swing motion for the better, as well as step-by-step processes for how to do so. But it doesn’t stop there – It also discusses skill development and how to use both improvements in swing motion AND skill to reach your potential.
This is important if you desire to reach your true potential in this game.
How to train
While it’s true that this book will help golfers even if they never practice, it’s called The Practice Manual for a reason.
The book discusses some of the most important elements of effective practice, such as
- Creating pressure
- Locus of attention
- Task difficulty
It also shows you how to structure your practice so that you are doing the most effective things at the right times. For example, making a wholesale swing change a day before a big tournament might not be the best strategy.
For players who are looking to structure their practice better and more efficiently, this will guide you. For coaches who are creating practice programming for their players, this is essential.
It details the five essential phases for growth and performance, including;
Technical training – How to go about improving your swing mechanics
Experimental training – How to increase the speed of building skill, clubhead awareness, fault identification, ability to fix yourself, body awareness etc.
Calibration – How to hone in on the desired shot shape and strike
Performance – How to figure out what strategy and thought processes guarantee your best results (perfect for peaking for events)
Transference – How to take your range game and transfer it to the course better, as well as how to use certain “constraints” on the course to improve your ability to play in competitions.
Whether you have 30 hours a week to practice, or just one hour a month, you will have a much clearer idea of how to practice more effectively and efficiently. There are several practice schedule templates to follow to make it easy.
And, as I have said, even if you are not a “range-practicer”, many of the philosophies can be transferred to on-course practice.
So, if you haven’t already, make sure you check it out. If you need more convincing – take a look at the customer reviews at the bottom of this post.
The great news is that I wrote the book in a way that makes it easy to pick up, dive into a single chapter and then put down again. Each chapter is on a stand-alone topic, even if they all flow and blend into the same story.
At the end of each chapter, I have also created summary pages with the main points outlined – making it easy to refresh your mind on the topics covered. So, while this book is a monster read with lots of nuggets of advice, you can bite those nuggets off at your own speed.
If you want to pick up a copy, just click the image below and it will take you to the amazon.com page. The book is also available on amazon stores in the UK, France, Canada, Germany, Italy and Spain.
I understand that not everyone is a reader – so, for that reason, I created The Strike Plan video series. If videos are more your thing, be sure to check it out.
It is a different animal to the book, however. While it shares the same philosophies, it delves much deeper into the topic of strike quality – looking at the techniques, concepts and skills involved in creating tour-level strikes.
It is a great stand-alone product, and also goes well as a complement to the book. You can click the image below to find out more.
Want more convincing? Check out the below reviews from amazon.
Well deserved Adam! Loved the book and eventhough I’m still a hacker, since reading it I came close to breaking 80 a handful of times. And that was mostly using the first few chapters on strike so lots of untapped potential in both the book and me!
Accelerating skill acquisition of beginner golfers with Adam Young - ParticipationCoaching.com
[…] I’m joined by Adam Young, a world-class coach and a best-selling author of The Practice Manual (which is by far the best golf instruction / practice book I’ve read). I had the […]
I Love the Golfer’s toolbox (DEFCON), you think that you can elaborate more or do a video about it?
Hey Jean – yes, it’s definitely on my list of things to do. Perhaps I will add it to Next Level Golf.
Adam good morning, we are trying to purchase your textbooks in bulk for our KU School.
Practice Manual: the Ultimate Guide for Golfers 9781507723173